Montgomery County Supervisors hear public input on Old Blacksburg High School
MONTGOMERY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors is preparing to decide on who to sell the Old Blacksburg High School building to.
The 36-acres in Blacksburg have a high bid right now of $3 million from a developer, but many would rather see it bought by the town to be turned into a park.
Board Chair Chris Tuck who says right now the offer from the developer HS Development, LLC is $3 million versus the offer from the Town of Blacksburg which stands at $2.3million.
That's why he says the majority of board members are leaning toward the developer's offer, but one board member, April DeMotts, gave a very spirited presentation Monday night, saying it's not all about the money.
Tuck began the board's discussion Monday talking about, not only a $700 thousand difference in price, but the potential for more money down the road.
"You're looking at at least 26 thousand 700 dollars a year in taxes, but it could be 40 thousand, but then when you start seeing the property developed, if it's houses or if it's senior living, you're talking about generating hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year," said Tuck.
Tuck also reminded board members they had made a promise to the county school board back in 2011.
"The school board trusted us when they transferred that land, it was with the understanding that we would sell that land and get as much as we could for it for schools, and that's what the board of supervisors is trying to do," said Tuck.
But DeMotts says, with a town that is only 19-square miles, the board may never get an opportunity to develop parks on this much land again.
"All Montgomery County residents, now and forever, can use these facilities at this location at the same price that town residents could, and that could be free if town residents can use it for free," said DeMotts.
After arguing her point, DeMotts received a round of applause.
"I think that speaks to how the people that are here tonight feel about preserving this property for community use. I don't think they, normally people don't clap at a public meeting. That was a big deal," said DeMotts.
Tuck says that the board did give Blacksburg a chance to meet HS Development's offer, but it couldn't.
The board will consider all of the comments it heard from the public during the meeting before making a final decision.
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